Best Dressed Salads

Dressed Salad I have discovered the salad as the centerpiece of my meal and with this have created many new salads to incorporate the greens in my diet.  The best finding has been the many new vinegars on the market and...

Dressed Salad
Dressed Salad

I have discovered the salad as the centerpiece of my meal and with this have created many new salads to incorporate the greens in my diet.  The best finding has been the many new vinegars on the market and many new greens to try.  Arugula and Kale are two of my favorite greens and my newest vinegar finds include fig, raspberry, sherry, pomegranate and tarragon white wine.

I always get asked if there is a store-bought dressing to use to dress these new salad creations.  Please take a few extra minutes and create a worthy and healthier dressing for your salad in your own kitchen.  I am including some starter recipes here to get you thinking beyond just vinegar and oil.

Vinegar Choices
Vinegar Choices

A Great Citrus Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • A few shakes of hot pepper sauce

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake well.  Will keep in the refrigerator about 5 – 7 days

Salad Dressings
Salad Dressings

Traditional Red Wine and Fresh Herb Dressing

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic, fine mince
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake well.  Will keep in the refrigerator about 5 – 7 days.

Southwest Themed Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons, cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons, ginger, finely grated
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake well.  Will keep in the refrigerator about 5 – 7 days

Classic Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup vinegar of your choice, red wine, white wine tarragon, balsamic, or sherry
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Dried herbs to include, Italian Spice Blend, Basil, Oregano.  Using about a teaspoon of each.

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake well.  Will keep in the refrigerator about 5 – 7 days.

Classic Vinaigrette
Classic Vinaigrette

My Lemon Dijon Dressing that dresses many a salad plus often Lentils or Whole Grain Cous Cous.  Great punch of flavor in this dressing.

Fresh Lemon Dijon Dressing

  • 1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 - 3 clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 bunch of parsley, stems removed chopped
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup olive oil

Directions:

In a food processor, or in a small bowl, whisk to combine shallot, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, mustard salt and pepper.   Add in oil slowly to combine.   Taste for seasonings.

This weekend’s Atlanta Journal Constitution shared another favorite from The ChopHouse of Hiawassee,  I remember this great salad and most memorable dressing.

Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½  teaspoons honey
  • Small shallot, minced
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon each fresh rosemary, thyme, and basil, chopped fine
  • ¾ cup corn oil ( I would cut this back to less than ½ cup )
  • ½ cup olive oil ( I would cut this back to ¼ cup)

Directions:

This recipe is suggested for a blender, but I have also used a bowl and whisk.  In a blender, combine vinegars, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, fresh herbs, garlic, lemon, salt and pepper.   Add in oil slowly to combine starting with the corn oil until emulsified.   Taste for seasonings.

Instead of reaching for a bottle of salad dressing, reach for a new vinegar or citrus fruit and create your own healthier topping to your salad.